This I Believe

Glen - Phoenix, Arizona
Entered on September 9, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
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I believe that there is an inverse correlation between people and their motor vehicles.

Most people believe that a car, truck or motorcycle reflects something about its owner. With that I agree, but I believe the person and his or her vehicle are usually complete opposites.

And I submit just two examples.

First: every day we see many humongous gas-guzzling SUVs and oversized pickup trucks, vehicles that seem to have taken steroids and grown to be even more bulbous than a regular sized pickup like your basic Ford or Chevy. You know, the ones that consume at least two parking spaces in shopping malls and one gallon of gas every 8 miles or less.

Now, of course a small minority of the owners of these vehicles actually use them for the purposes for which they were designed – for example, to ranch, to farm, to provide practical services that require equipment which can only be transported in such a vehicle. And my belief most definitely does not apply to those hard working, salt of the earth people. But, as we all have observed, 90+% of these behemoth global-warming monstrosities never leave suburbia.

And the people, especially the men, driving them? As the saying goes, most seem to be compensating for some, uh, some shortcoming, whether it be in their personality or, uh, physique. Not all, but definitely most. As I said, an inverse correlation.

The obvious second example is motorcycles. Many of my friends and I are responsible, law-abiding cyclists, who have the good sense to wear helmets and other proper protective gear. We are careful, serious about our riding skills, and do our best to minimize any harm to the environment.

Then there are the cyclists riding without helmets, without gear, on oversized, clumsy-handling choppers, going from one bar to another. I believe these people are just demonstrating that they are the exact opposite of what they seem to believe they are projecting about themselves. Suffice it to say, they obviously not Marlon Brando in “The Wild Ones.”

I haven’t completely figured out the cause and effect at work here. Do the vehicles make these people act the way they do? Or do their personalities lead to their selection of vehicles?

Or maybe that is not an “either/or” question. Maybe the answer is that the relationship works both ways, reinforcing itself between the person and the vehicle on a daily basis. In other words, the opposite of a symbiotic relationship.

And I believe that is the best explanation of the inverse correlation between people and their motor vehicles.